Four-team playoff if the season ended today:
It's hard for me not to give a second spot to an SEC team -- Mississippi State lost by 5 on the road at Alabama, the best team in the country. (It is crazy to think that Georgia is a confounding loss to Florida away from absolutely being in the playoff mix.)
The other contenders are flawed: FSU had trouble with Miami. TCU had trouble with Kansas, for god's sake. (Baylor beat Kansas by 46.) Oregon's best resume fodder (Arizona St) just lost to Oregon St. But if all three win out, they're in; they control their own fate.
Baylor and Ohio State are theoretically in the mix, but including them would undermine any claim that the playoff committee values "strength of schedule."
The murkiness at the top is (probably) good for the sport -- the only constant is that Alabama still rules. (And giving them a once-a-season mulligan only tilts things in their favor more.)
Next week's most consequential game: (The schedule sure doesn't look promising. Then again, you could have said the same thing about this week, except for the Alabama-MSU game.)
Two other notes:
*Northwestern shocks Notre Dame in South Bend: The Wildcats' 1995 win there was the most meaningful sports event of my lifetime. This one was not nearly as unlikely, but still -- extremely unlikely. It's a season-maker for Northwestern and an indictment of ND (and FSU?)
*Melvin Gordon: As someone who loves superlatives, being able to watch (or flip over to) a player setting the single-game rushing record was pretty awesome. What Wisconsin has done at running back over the past 20 years is remarkable.
Enjoy a high-quality NFL Sunday.